Government

Most Americans in the 1930s and 1940s did not know that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was severely handicapped from polio and had to use a wheelchair, just as many in the 1960s did not know that John F. Kennedy had extramarital affairs while in the White House. Journalists at the time censored themselves due to respect for the office and the man.

Which is better: not knowing very much or knowing a lot about the personal lives of presidents? Does what happens in a politician’s life affect his or her ability to govern? Have our most effective presidents also been the most exemplary?